Tag Archives: I am a bear

I am always at least a little scared.

It is true. I am always at least a little scared.

Many things frighten me for many reasons. There are far too many to list now and here, but here are a few key scary things that are particularly scary:

  • Shouting
  • Yelling
  • Screaming
  • Being shouted/screamed/yelled at
  • Misplaced rocks

There are many more, of course, and I tend to focus on these scary things often. They constantly plague my bear brain as I wander throughout the forest. Most of my interactions and decisions are even rooted in these scary things, despite the fact that these scary things are not interested in my every interaction and decision.

So why do I do this? Why do I let very reasonably scary things take such control over me and my life in the forest? I earn nothing in return. The scary things keep being scary even if I try my hardest to avoid them. To some extent, their scariness has an even extra scary element to it because of the control I allow these scary things to have. To add to the list of scary things:

  • Letting scary things control you

I am not certain as to how I can change this dynamic. I know it needs to be changed, though. Letting scary things get the best of me serves nothing, not even the scary things themselves. I wish it were as easy as simply ignoring the scary things, but I do not believe it is. Often, it is very difficult to convince my bear brain to not think of a scary thing. Even though I do control my bear brain thoughts and ideas, they do tend to stray and when they do, they tend to stray toward scary things.

How can you conquer something that can seem to have such control over you?

I suppose, however, scary things do not have direct and endless control over the interactions and decisions I make, despite those interactions and decisions being rooted in my avoidance in scary things. Perhaps this is where I need to make a change or at least try to make a change. The scary things are always there. They are always in the forest, and they are always in my bear brain. However, despite their scariness and their influence, scary things cannot make me do anything. It is a difficult path to navigate, but if I do not try, the scary things win something they do not even seem to want to win.

I am a bear.

If you would like to try being a bear, why not read some of the bear adventures available on this very site? The newest adventure is all about safety!

For any questions or comments directed at Bear, feel free to write to him using this email: justasinglebear@gmail.com

You can also now use Tumblr to address questions to Bear. Also, you can find bear photos and such on Bear’s Instagram, and don’t forget to “like” Bear on Facebook.

My fur and its various states of softness.

I have expressed quite a lot about my fur throughout my duration of having fur. I have also wondered how others are affected by fur, including whether or not they are simply aware of it and its various states of softness. I have not, however, truly detailed the various states of softness of my fur and the many complex states of being my fur can exhibit and experience. I want to do so now, so…

When my fur has been covered in water:

When my fur has been covered in water, it takes on a unique style of softness. It becomes sleek and shiny. It becomes easy to manipulate and shape. Rain or river water makes my fur a wonderful customizable ballet of individual hairs binding together. This variant of softness does not last too long without water, but it is quite enjoyable while it is around.

My fur right after a nap:

This style of softness is bit rougher compared to other styles. After a good nap, my fur gets bundled in little tufts. These tufts are not as soft as other variants of fur softness, but they are still generally soft compared to things like pinecones and the teeth of the mice who sometimes live in these tufts.

My fur after a long slumber:

See: fur right after a nap (just more).

General softness:

Without external conditions or variables affecting my fur’s softness, my fur is… just soft. It is wavy and easy to comb through with a claw or paw. It shines brilliantly and requires minimal maintenance or regard. This is the ideal fur variant. It is simple and wonderful.

Softness post tree:

I have been known to rub my fur onto trees. There are many reasons to do this. Sometimes it is an itch. Sometimes I want to know the tree better through its bark. Sometimes I do it without really understanding or questioning why. Regardless of why it happens, I know that after rubbing my fur on a tree, the softness of my fur changes. The individual hairs that make up my fur seem to split apart, losing whatever cohesion or unity they once had. It was not until I rubbed my belly on a tree that I ever really realized this happens (I cannot see most of my back fur). However, it is interesting to see individual hairs that make up my fur stand on their own. It makes me appreciate the individual things that make up the bigger things of the forest (trees: forest; ants: anthill; droplets: river; seven mice and an angry raccoon: dumpster).

My fur is in a constant flux of various softnesses. I enjoy every type of softness there is. I like my fur, but I like the possibilities of my fur even more.

I am a bear.

If you would like to try being a bear, why not read some of the bear adventures available on this very site? The newest adventure is all about safety!

For any questions or comments directed at Bear, feel free to write to him using this email: justasinglebear@gmail.com

You can also now use Tumblr to address questions to Bear. Also, you can find bear photos and such on Bear’s Instagram, and don’t forget to “like” Bear on Facebook.

A bird dropped a stick on me. Why?


The sky is known for dropping two things on a regular basis: leaves and rain. Those two things fall from some unknown aspect of the sky, an invisible, seemingly random agent of the clouds above with the help of the chaos of the wind.

So when things other than rain and leaves fall onto my head from on high, I know it is most likely not by way of the sky or the wind. The usual culprit is a squirrel. Squirrels love to throw things at me. I am not sure why, but they do it frequently enough that my thought process of things dropping on to my head works on a simple flow chart. Was it a leaf or rain? Probably the sky. Something else entirely? Probably a squirrel.

With so much experience in the ways of things being thrown at me from high above, I have generally held the belief that there is no way something new can happen in those terms. To my surprise, there was at least one more thing that could happen to me when it comes to stuff falling on my head: a bird.

I saw a bird drop a stick on me. I must be specific here. I saw this bird drop a stick on me. It was not as though a stick hit me and then I looked up and saw a bird and assumed. I saw this bird. It was as though the bird delivering the stick directly to my head. It hit the mark, too. The stick hit my ears and bounced off my fluffy fur, hitting the forest floor with the slightest of thuds.

Why?

Why did this bird drop a stick on me? It has been something I have been trying to figure out ever since. Was it really just delivering the stick to me? Did the bird see that I had dropped this stick somewhere and just wanted me to have it back? I did not recognize the stick, but I suppose it was possible.

Did the bird intend to hurt me? Was the stick a pointy painful projectile meant to do harm?

Was my head a future nesting place for the bird? Are more sticks to come?

There is no way to know, and there might not ever be a way to know. This is the truly hard part of this strange occurrence. There are no answers. There are no reasons. I suppose that happens a lot in the forest. Random, strange things happen frequently, and those who have the things happen to them are left to put the mystery together only to realize it is essentially impossible.

I am a bear.

If you would like to try being a bear, why not read some of the bear adventures available on this very site? The newest adventure is all about safety!

For any questions or comments directed at Bear, feel free to write to him using this email: justasinglebear@gmail.com

You can also now use Tumblr to address questions to Bear. Also, you can find bear photos and such on Bear’s Instagram, and don’t forget to “like” Bear on Facebook.

A list of things that I at first thought were against me but were not.


Here is a list of things that I at first thought were against me but were not:

  • Wind (I think it is actually against everyone, not just me)
  • Flying leaves (further investigation led me to realize that this is just the wind and, again, the wind is really after everyone)
  • Flying debris (see: wind, flying leaves)
  • Birds (I often interpret their whistles and fast flying as a kind of mocking, but I think that is just how they are: fast flying whistlers)
  • The sun (I do not think it is personal)
  • Squirrels (up for debate, however)
  • Humans (they might be shouting at me because they are excited to see me, not because they hate me?)
  • The rabbit skeleton I accidentally swallowed (this was my fault, rabbit skeleton)
  • Ants (those bites could just be aggressive hugs, there is no way to tell)
  • The deer across the river (wait)
  • No, not the deer across the river (but I really should at least try…)
  • Okay, the deer across the river (but then again, those horrible hacking sounds he emits from his tiny mouthed face are so awful and filled with so much negativity and hatred)
  • Okay, no, not the deer across the river (but what has he really done to me?)
  • Fine, the deer across the river (no, wait, he knows what he did)
  • Never mind, scratch the deer across the river (wait, wait, just do it, what harm could come out of forgiving that vile beast and moving on with my life?)
  • The deer across the river (…)
  • Clouds (I assume they are moving that quickly because they have somewhere important to go and not because they want to spite me)
  • My cave, for its occasional lack of heat (it is not your fault, cave)
  • My claws (I am sure they did not mean to scratch me to intensely that one time I had an itch on my belly)
  • Okay, I just cannot do this, I cannot add the deer across the river to this list, it just is not fair, he does not deserve further consideration or forgiveness, he deserves to stay at the river his disgusting hooves and malformed antlers, I simply cannot add the deer across the river to this list
  • But I should…
  • Fine…
  • The deer across the river

I am a bear.

If you would like to try being a bear, why not read some of the bear adventures available on this very site? 

For any questions or comments directed at Bear, feel free to write to him using this email: justasinglebear@gmail.com

You can also now use Tumblr to address questions to Bear. Also, you can find bear photos and such on Bear’s Instagram, and don’t forget to “like” Bear on Facebook.

Bear instructions.

No bear ever sat me down and told me how to be a bear. How to push my paws into mud because it feels nice. How to avoid dipping my nose into the river while lapping up a refreshing drink. Why dipping my nose in water is bad. How to climb trees and not embarrass myself in front of birds (something I am still not great at). How to get into dumpsters. How to communicate with other dumpster dwellers. How to pick out a good stick. How to be a bear.

I had to figure out how to be a bear by myself for the most part. It involved a lot of guess work and mistakes and one time I almost drowned (the nose in the river thing was a hard lesson to learn). I have been considering creating and sharing a set of instructions on how to be a bear. I think it would be nice if other bears, even other creatures interested in being a bear, could have have some guidelines on how to be a bear.

I have no idea what exactly would go into the instructions. Surely the water and nose thing. But what else? What actions and experiences make being a bear? Do I catalog how I walk and eat and think and that time I saw twenty birds yelling at the empty vessel of a flattened raccoon? I am not sure what is most important about being a bear.

And I do not even know if I am the best creature to determine what is most important about being a bear. Surely there are other bears who have important ideas of bearness that differ from mine, and who am I to tell any creature that those views are any worse or better than mine are?

I suppose I cannot determine what the best practices for being a bear are. I can only determine what the best practices for being a me are. And I am a bear.

I am a bear.

If you would like to try being a bear, why not read some of the bear adventures available on this very site? 

For any questions or comments directed at Bear, feel free to write to him using this email: justasinglebear@gmail.com

You can also now use Tumblr to address questions to Bear. Also, you can find bear photos and such on Bear’s Instagram, and don’t forget to “like” Bear on Facebook.

Here are some things I had time to consider as I fell from a tree I climbed.

time-bear-2

Things I had time to consider as I fell from a tree I climbed:

  • The wind seemed very sharp
  • The ground looked so soft from up high
  • The branch that I thought was interesting looking from below was not nearly as interesting looking when I got to it
  • No amount of arm flapping would cause me to fly
  • Though I certainly tried
  • Why do I not get to fly?
  • I do not think birds should get to fly when most of the rest of us do not, it is strange and does not seem fair
  • But birds do not have front legs or paws or fur, so maybe flying was their trade-off?
  • The size of the sky does not seem to change while falling
  • The size of the ground does definitely seem to change while falling
  • Moments of tremendous unease seem to last a very long time, which is, again, a very strange and not very fair thing that happens no matter what, always
  • When moments like that stretch out, I am forced to linger on the thoughts and actions that made the moment difficult to begin with
  • And I have to, in a way, relive an awful thing while the awful thing is happening for what feels like a forever
  • I do not like that and it does not seem fair
  • Because even if I get all the time that is possible to have to think about one particular thing, I will be unable to change it or alter it or even really stop it from clouding my thoughts, so I am being forced by some unknown thing to sit and stare at myself inside me forever even as the ground gets closer and closer to my snout
  • The number of leaves I would likely fall onto
  • Which looked to be about ten?
  • Which was not enough leaves to constitute a safe or even mildly comfortable landing
  • That maybe trees do not like me?
  • Which is why I am often falling from them or things on them are falling from them and landing on me?
  • A very brief, fleeting moment of nothing right before my paws endure the shock of beginning my landing
  • Which was actually nice
  • And very relaxing

I am a bear.

If you would like to try being a bear, why not read some of the bear adventures available on this very site? 

For any questions or comments directed at Bear, feel free to write to him using this email: justasinglebear@gmail.com

You can also now use Tumblr to address questions to Bear. Also, you can find bear photos and such on Bear’s Instagram, and don’t forget to “like” Bear on Facebook.

I saw a dirt-covered seagull.

seagull-2

Seagulls are rare in my part of the forest, but when I get deeper into the forest, past the clumps of trees I normally reside in and to the slabs of flat rocks and human caves, I sometimes run into a seagull. The last time I saw a seagull, it stared at me as it stood next to a few crows, chewing on some plastic bits it had fished out of a dumpster. It was a strange experience. It was missing feathers and had a twisted leg. It looked okay with both of those things. The bird’s dark, beady eyes glared at me while its empty face consumed its catch. I envied it, to be honest, as it so openly, without any indication of shame for its seemingly awful state of being, enjoyed a nice dumpster snack.

I saw another seagull today. I was trying to climb into a dumpster when it swooped from the sky (as birds with their aggressive nature tend to do) and landed on the corner of the dumpster I was climbing. My front paws were inside, but I stopped and stared at the seagull as the last seagull I saw had stared at me. It stared back. It was covered in dirt. Brown and grey crud covered its crooked feathers. Mud rested on its neck, dried and flaking off with every little movement it made. Its eyes were just as beady and as dark as any seagull I had ever seen.

I am not sure how long we stared at one another, but eventually the seagull broke the spell and flew off. I shook my head and tried to snap back into my reality. I climbed into the dumpster I was climbing into and did what I normally do in dumpsters: enjoyed myself with some scavenging and a long nap.

When I climbed out, the seagull was on the ground to greet me. I had no idea if it was the same seagull, but it was definitely covered in dirt and it smelled similar. My head was poking out of the dumpster, my paws hanging over the edge, when its glare stopped me as it had before. It was standing in a very thick, dark liquid. Confidently. Maybe proudly. We stared at one another again. This seagull was so unashamed just to be. I do not know how it did that. I have always been nervous to be. Being has always worried me, plagued my thoughts and forced me to rethink my being. I doubted this seagull even knew it was. Did this seagull even care that it was? That it existed? I was hard to tell.

It dipped its long, strange beak into the liquid, slurped some of it, and flew away.

This seagull was fine with being what it was.

I tried licking the black liquid after the seagull was gone and I had climbed out of the dumpster.

It burned and made me very upset.

I am a bear.

If you would like to try being a bear, why not read some of the bear adventures available on this very site? 

For any questions or comments directed at Bear, feel free to write to him using this email: justasinglebear@gmail.com

You can also now use Tumblr to address questions to Bear. Also, you can find bear photos and such on Bear’s Instagram, and don’t forget to “like” Bear on Facebook.

I found a milk jug. Now what?

Milk jug (2)

Everything and everyone in the forest (as far as I can tell) seems to have a very overt, defined purpose. Trees are homes for creatures, fur scratchers for me, and generally great for the aesthetics of the forest. The river gives us water and a place to see ourselves in wavy reflections. Squirrels are entertaining at best and chaotic wild cards at worst (which also has its uses). Even the deer across the river has some purpose. I do not know what that purpose is, but I am sure there is one and I like to pretend it is not just to make me feel horrible about being near the deer across the river from time to time.

We all have a purpose in the forest, and we all interact with and play off of each others’ purposes. That is why it is so alarming when I come across something in the forest that seems to lack a discernible purpose (to me, that is).

Many strange things find their way to the forest (usually by way of dumpster treasures or humans (campsites and such)), and it can be difficult to figure out why these things exist.

The milk jug was a perfect example. I had no idea it was even called a milk jug until Rob (the squirrel) told me it was a milk jug. I asked him what it did, and he told me the name explained everything I needed know.

Milk jug.

So, naturally, I chewed on it. The milk jug certainly did a fine job at fulfilling the role of a thing to be chewed on, but (and I do not mean to sound too cynical or pessimistic here) that can be said of just about anything I can chew on (which is most things).

I decided to carry the milk jug with me to give it some more time to express its reasoning for its being or at least enough time for me to figure that out on my own. Later that day, in my cave, I sat with my belly pressed against the cool, moldy rock floor as I stared at the milk jug, waiting for it to explain itself.

It never did. It just sat there.

I took the milk jug to the river to see if a change in scenery could help inspire it to be the best possible milk jug.

When we arrived, we sat at the edge of the river, waiting.

Then I nudged the milk jug into the water. For a very brief moment, I was terrified that I might have just drowned the milk jug just to prove something about it to me, which was an absurd and horrible notion. In my panic, I jumped into the river to follow the milk jug, but I was surprised to find that it was able to float better than I could.

Maybe that was its purpose.

The deer across the river scoffed at me as this happened, which I pretended to ignore even though it made me feel bad about myself.

At the end of the day, I carried the milk jug back to where I found it: the dumpster near the sharp fence I dug a whole under so I did not have to climb the fence because it is sharp.

I am still not entirely sure why the milk jug exists and what it is for, but I figure that the place for it to do or be what it needs to do or be is its home.

I am a bear.

If you would like to try being a bear, why not read some of the bear adventures available on this very site? 

For any questions or comments directed at Bear, feel free to write to him using this email: justasinglebear@gmail.com

You can also now use Tumblr to address questions to Bear. Also, you can find bear photos and such on Bear’s Instagram, and don’t forget to “like” Bear on the book of faces.

Do I think about being a bear too much?

bear brain (2)

Often when I say things, I remind myself and others that I am a bear (so much so that if I do not remind myself and others I am a bear, some worry). It is something I cannot help; I am always thinking about how I am a bear. Sometimes I am trying to deeply consider my bearness and how it affects the world and how the world affects it. Other times I am just reminding myself of my bearness.

Either way, I am almost always thinking about being a bear.

Is that a bad thing?

I know it is not good to be obsessed with something, no matter what it is, but is it also not good to be constantly concerned with what or who you are and your place in the world? Normally, I would assume it is fine, but recently, while giving some more thought on my bearness and such, I thought about my thinking of being a bear might not necessarily be the same thing as me actually being a bear.

I am now beginning to worry that I am not being a bear nearly as much as I am thinking about being a bear. What does thinking about being a bear really do for me that being a bear cannot do? I can think all day about being a bear and eating a delicious grease stained napkin from a dumpster that the hypothetical me in my mind might find, but that does not mean I am going to get to eat that delicious grease stained napkin in real life. In fact, that grease stained napkin might not even be real. At least the hypothetical me in my mind is based off something I know is real (the real me), but that napkin? I made it up.

Making things up confuses this even more. I can think about being anything I want. I can think about being a tree or a squirrel or a cloud or a snake or a bird or two bears or a thousand bears. No matter what I think of, however, it does not change my actually being a bear in any way. Also, I do not get to be any of those things I listed. I am not a thousand bears or a snake or a tree. I am just a bear. One, single bear.

So should I think about being a bear less?

It seems impossible to completely stop thinking about being a bear (it is the thing with which I have the most experience), but I should I reduce my bear-thinking habits?

Should I simply be a bear instead?

Or is thinking about being a bear just part of being a bear?

And maybe overthinking about being a bear is just part of being a bear?

And maybe thinking about how thinking about not being a bear and a bunch of other things instead is also just a part of being a bear?

I do not know.

I suppose, for now and until someone or something tells me I am not doing it correctly, I will continue to just be a bear, whatever thinking comes along with being a bear.

I am a bear.

If you would like to try being a bear, why not read some of the bear adventures available on this very site? 

For any questions or comments directed at Bear, feel free to write to him using this email: justasinglebear@gmail.com

You can also now use Tumblr to address questions to Bear

Perhaps there are infinity bears?

image1

Counting is hard sometimes. I often find myself wondering why there are certain numbers of bear parts that make up my body. I know that I have four legs to help promote mobility and stability. I have two eyes to help me see (and count things).

But not everything about me seems to make sense. Some of my parts are simply uncountable. For instance, I often wonder how many strands of hair make up my fur. I have tried to count them many times but have failed miserably. Usually I lose track or fall asleep or run out of visible patches of fur (I once employed Rob (the squirrel) to help count all the fur on my back, but he wound up counting acorns instead; it was very confusing and unproductive).

My teeth are also difficult to inventory because I cannot see them. I have felt them with my tongue, but my tongue is an unreliable accountant.

I assume that the number of hair and teeth I maintain is an appropriate amount for bears and won’t fluctuate too much in the course of my existence. But if that number does change, do I become more or less bear? I hope not. I hope my bearness retains all the qualities that make me a bear despite any missing teeth or newly grown fur.

The perplexing nature of numerical values is also applicable to the forest itself. I know how many Rob (the squirrel)s there are. One. Just one. That much I know. But I have no idea how many trees there are. I’m sure I would eventually be able to count them all if I kept a thorough tally, or I if were to mark them so they would not be recounted, but other matters seem to take precedence over this goal: food, naps, rolling in dirt, more naps, etc.

Even if I could count every tree in the forest, what would it accomplish? I know that I would rest a little easier knowing that number, but would it shed any light on the number of other things around me? Probably not. What do trees know about the quantities of other things in the surrounding world? Very little, I would guess (no offense, trees).

Much like my teeth and fur, there are things in the forest that change so rapidly, they would be impossible to count. Take clouds for example. They shift and float across the sky without warning. They change color and disappear. How could anyone be able to keep up with that sort of behavior? Perhaps clouds simply do not want to be counted.

I am easy to count. I am one bear. One, single bear. I do not know how many other bears there are. I assume more than just me. Perhaps there are bears in other places beyond the forest. Or maybe even beyond the clouds.

Maybe, just maybe, there are more than just one of me. There could be infinite versions of me across infinite versions of the forest. If this is the case, counting my legs and fur and teeth would be acts of futility. How do you count to infinity?

I suppose counting things shouldn’t be so worrisome. Rob (the squirrel) says he never counts things and believes there is simply enough things around at any given time. I suppose, on some level, he has a point.

The hypothetically infinite numbers of me have yet to come crashing down on one another, so I guess things are as they should be.

Rob (the squirrel) ate three of my acorns.

I am a bear.

If you would like to try being a bear, why not read some of the bear adventures available on this very site? 

For any questions or comments directed at Bear, feel free to write to him using this email: justasinglebear@gmail.com